Sarah Lois Vaughan
(March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990)
was an American jazz singer.
Nicknamed “Sassy” and “The Divine One”, she won four Grammy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. She was given an NEA Jazz Masters Award in 1989.
Critic Scott Yanow wrote that she had “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century”.
Though usually considered a jazz singer, Vaughan avoided classifying herself as one. She discussed the term in a 1982 interview for Down Beat:
“I don’t know why people call me a jazz singer, though I guess people associate me with jazz because I was raised in it, from way back. I’m not putting jazz down, but I’m not a jazz singer … I’ve recorded all kinds of music, but (to them) I’m either a jazz singer or a blues singer. I can’t sing a blues – just a right-out blues – but I can put the blues in whatever I sing. I might sing ‘Send In the Clowns’ and I might stick a little bluesy part in it, or any song. What I want to do, music-wise, is all kinds of music that I like, and I like all kinds of music.”
She most famously recorded “Misty”
– Laura Camara –
Laura’s mix of arrangements of popular song, jazz standards, and deeply personal original compositions make for a fresh bold take on the genre of jazz. Not the typical delicate torch singer, Laura’s music is eclectic blend of jazz harmony, full of electric grooves, and strong subjects with unapologetic lyrics. Her unique voice, with its rich colorful timbres and incredible range, combined with her rhythmic sophistication and her dexterity in vocal improvisation, make for a truly original sound. Laura proves herself, not just as a singer, but a musician, using every part of her vocal capabilities to add hornlike solos and intricate rhythms with vocal percussion. However, Laura is best known for her emotional connection to the music and her sincerity in which it is conveyed. With each performance, Laura gives herself over to her audience with a genuine delivery of her soul.
Her heartfelt performances have led her to share the stage with an extraordinary array of musicians such as Kurt Elling, Ellis Marsalis, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding, Camila Meza, and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Past performances include The Montreux Jazz Festival, The Boston Pops Jazz Festival, The International Association of Jazz Educators Conference, and the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the John F. Kennedy National Center for the Performing Arts. Laura is an award winning jazz vocalist, winning second place in New York City’s Jazzmobile Vocal Competition. In addition to live performances Laura has been a featured profiled artist on WGBH Boston’s National Public Radio and famous New York City Webcast Capsulocity.
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